There have been a number of photo-to-comic apps on the iPad over the years, but the $1.99 Halftone 2 Comic Book Creator (a sequel to the first $0.99 Halftone app released in 2011) may be the first one that's nimble enough to make the process anything more than a time-killer. While it's marketed principally as a fun novelty, it's got an easy-to-use radial menu and other intuitive tools for topping photos and other images -- like, say, your drawings -- with all the lettering, sound effects and other visual add-ons native to sequential art.
Technology - Page 2
Let's be real for a second: A list of the top-grossing apps in the iTunes store isn't going to be all that fair. Your assorted Candy Crushes, casino games, and Simpsons Tapped Outs -- games designed to basically pick players up by their ankles and shake the change out of their pockets--are going to skew the results.
That makes it all the more of an achievement that ComiXology nabbed the No. 11 spot on the iTunes list of top-grossing iPad apps for 2013. Only it and the New York Times app, which was right below it at No. 12, managed to make the list without nickel-and-diming gamers who just had to have... I don't know, better candy to crush? I'm not too familiar with that game.
Even in a comic buying era increasingly defined by digital comics and "waiting" for trades and hardcovers, very few readers will ever completely be able shed single issues or standalone print releases. But that doesn't mean singles must be relegated to the shelfless and largely share-less purgatory of storage. Alex Rodriguez has devised a customizable binding platform called Compiler that allows comic owners to effectively collect the books of their choice (like, say, Jack Kirby's 2001: A Space Odyssey books or Archie's Mighty Mutanimals minis) into a sturdy tome that can be switched up on the fly. Like Iron Man's mid-1990s armor, Compiler is modular.
There are a lot of great stylus and app pairing options for illustrating on the iPad, but only one can teach you how to draw Iron Man's head. Yesterday Marvel launched its free Marvel Creativity Studio app, along with an optional accompanying sold-separately stylus. Part coloring book, part sketchbook, part tutorial, part animation software, and part sticker book, the Creativity Studio is meant to give young Marvel fans the tools to create content not unlike that of Avengers Assemble, Ultimate Spider-Man and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.
In an age where many adults use their phones as flashlights, not every Marvel Comics fan may need a nightlight to make their way from their bedroom to their bathroom/kitchen/dojo during the ungodly hours they find themselves shook from slumber by the sum of their deepest regrets and darkest secrets manifest in crippling night terrors, but hey - they can't hurt! 3D Light FX even has stylish wall art options modeled after Iron Man's head, Captain America's mighty shield, Thor's hammer Mjolnir, Hulk's fist and Spider-Man's dome. They even come with crackly decals to make it seem as if they're crashing into -- or erupting through -- your wall.
There are a number of pressure sensitive capacitive stylus options available for the iPad, but their performance is almost always measured against that of far more powerful traditional drawing tablets. That's why when tablet titan Wacom announced that it was at last applying its Z-axis tech to a professional-grade stylus of its own last month -- and as part of its Intuos brand, no less -- iPad users perked up. Could this be the capacitive pen that finally delivers a more Cintiq-like experience on the tablet? Wacom provided ComicsAlliance with a review sample of its new Intuos Creative Stylus, which I took for a spin over the course of week and a half. Click through to read the full review.
No matter how advanced drawing tablets get, the feel of real pens on real paper can't quite be replaced (yet). With this in mind ISKN Team has launched a Kickstarter for its upcoming iSketchnote, "a smart iPad cover" that digitizes what users draw on regular paper with mostly regular pens and saves their lines to their bluetooth connected iPad in real time.
With the Cintiq and Intuos lines recently refreshed, Wacom seems to be shooting for tablet trifecta territory by giving its entry-level Bamboo line an overhaul. While Bamboo devices used to serve as pretty basic versions of Wacom's other tablets, the new Bamboo Pad is a 4.21 x 2.63" multitouch trackpad packed with a stylus supporting 512 levels of pressure sensitivity.
It looks like Wacom's not done unveiling new products following the recent Cintiq Companion and Intuos Creative Stylus rollouts. The company's entire Intuos line has just been given a refresh, with the former Bamboo line of entry level graphics tablets getting nixed and regular Intuos tablets getting bumped up to "Intuos Pro" status. Interestingly, amid the reshuffle is the "Intuos Manga," the first device Wacom's ever marketed directly to comic or manga illustrators in name.